The annual disaster drill includes several "public health emergencies" that occur during potentially life or death weather and accident related situations. These include exposure to chemical or hazardous wastes, power or gas main leaks, and management of communicable disease outbreaks, which may require quarantine. The College of Nursing began conducting annual disaster drills in the spring of 2005.
In an effort to expand the coordination of response efforts on campus, the Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) and university administrators have participated with the College of Nursing in a full-scale "live" disaster drill and tabletop simulator module. Based on real-world scenarios, tabletop simulations have been successfully used as teaching tools by emergency management and community agencies for response and command training.
The main goals of the disaster drill include:
- Preparation of Baccalaureate nursing students and graduates in emergency response management
- Evaluation of clinical decision making of senior nursing students
- Training students to stage and evaluate disaster simulations as a clinical skill to be transferred into other community and clinical settings
- Collaboration with OEP to improve (campus community) internal emergency response policies and procedures
- Promotion of interoperability (combination of all disaster response workers to provide and accept services from other systems) to respond better to disaster emergencies.